Brandon Bender

Major: Sport Communication (Broadcast); Minor: Telecommunications

Years at IU: 2009-2013

What I did at IU: When I got to IU, I knew I wanted to major in something pertaining to sports, which has always been my passion. However, I didn’t know exactly where to start. Initially, my major was Sport Marketing & Management, but I quickly realized it was not for me, so I switched to Sport Communication (Broadcast), and I’m glad I did. With an abundance of opportunities available through student media, I tried as much as I could to build my resume–from being a WIUX Sports radio co-host to a blogger for IUSportComm, to being an on-air talent and color commentator for BTN Student U.

What I do now: Today, I work at Northwestern University as a remote freelance production assistant for games broadcast by the Big Ten Network. I also do live camera work at Northwestern’s Studio N for men’s and women’s basketball games, as well as for wrestling, baseball, and softball, providing live streaming for online viewers.

What advice I have for sports media students: Start early and start often. Chances are, you won’t end up being as good at something as you thought you might be, so give yourself as many chances as you can to discover your strengths and weaknesses and find your niche. As you build yourself from the ground up, you will find that there are no shortcuts in this industry, so work hard and make as many connections as you can–you never know who might help you land your first lucky gig.

Also, I cannot stress enough the importance of internships! While succeeding in the classroom is important, there is no substitution for professional experience. Without the experience and connections acquired through internships, you will have very little chance of succeeding anywhere.